Butler, Pennsylvania is home to AK Steel, a company that produces flat rolled electrical and other stainless steel products. The company grew quickly to become a very prosperous business with additional facilities in several other states. Despite their success, the company did face many serious issues over the years, one of the biggest being the presence of asbestos at the work site.
Although most people today know about the dangers of asbestos - the naturally occurring mineral is toxic and can cause people to become very ill and even claim their lives. Prior to the late 1970's very few people were aware of this fact. They worked in close proximity to products that contained large amounts of the mineral and never thought twice about it. These unfortunate victims had no idea that they were breathing in microscopic bits of asbestos dust that would cling to their respiratory system and promote the decay of healthy tissue.
Over time, people who ingested asbestos dust became very likely to develop serious ailments. The process usually takes many years, or even decades, but the poison that is introduced into their body can lead to respiratory disorders and cancerous diseases. These conditions, such as asbestosis or mesothelioma, are very painful, difficult to treat and have no known cure. They make breathing labored and painful and can be fatal.
Asbestos was first discovered in the United States during the later 1800's, and was soon recognized as being a very beneficial material for manufacturers. It was used to make thousands of different products, many of which were utilized at industrial work sites, like AK Steel. Goods such as insulation, fire bricks and protective clothing were necessary at locations like steel mills, and were considered to help make the work place safer for employees. Unfortunately the very items that were intended to keep people safe were actually causing them serious health problems like mesothelioma cancer.
Because asbestos cancer usually takes so long to develop, people who ingested the hazardous material many years ago could still be at risk. If you worked at this Butler based facility while contaminated products were on site, notify your doctor about it immediately.